Face masks mandatory in Brussels until 'at least mid-September'

Face masks mandatory in Brussels until 'at least mid-September'
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The use of face masks in all public places of the Brussels-Capital Region will remain mandatory until at least mid-September, Minister-President Rudi Vervoort said.

"For as little as possible, but at least until mid-September," Vervoort said, questioned on how long the obligation to wear a face mask in the capital would remain in force, following its introduction a week earlier.

"After the reopening of schools and the end of the holidays, we will study the figures to see how the situation is evolving," he told Bruzz as he left a Nationa Security Council (NSC) meeting on Thursday.

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The obligation to wear a face mask in all places accessible to the public in Brussels was introduced on 12 August, as the number of new weekly cases recorded by all municipalities averaged 50 per 100,000 inhabitants, a mark previously set as an alarm threshold for the resurgence of the virus.

Vervoort said that, for the time being, the Brussels-Capital Region would not be introducing any additional measures but that the current limit of social contacts, decided by the NSC, would not be relaxed.

The NSC on Thursday decided to uphold a rule to allow each household to meet with only five fixed people, which was introduced in late July to curb a flare-up of infections across the country following weeks of reopening.

"It was a necessary measure," Vervoort said. "Because everyone knows that the risk of contamination is highest in their own bubble, with those with whom they have the closest contact."

He also said that even if rules would not budge at the regional level, mayors of the 19 municipalities could still decide to impose targetted measures on their territories.

"I ask the mayors to remain attentive, as they have been," he said. "Targetted measure can still be imposed locally."

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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